Circus music is creepy. To say otherwise is retarded. The withered, broken sound of tinny cymbals and tuba seems to subvert the happy-go-lucky tone, replacing it with a feeling of utter repulsion. Or hey, maybe that’s just me. But I never felt this way about sea shanties (Sailor’s Hornpipe = HOT SLAMMING GROOVE) until I put this album on.
Melodica Deathship have mixed hazy trip-hop and menacing rap with the grinding churn of accordion and the sea-sick rasp of the melodian – resulting in an earthy and immensely dark musical journey. Slow incessant beats pulsate under long, intentionally imperfect and twisted melodies. It seems to roll over itself repeatedly, creating a compelling, claustrophobic space in which the listener finds no obvious direction or conclusion.
The textures created by the array of wood and reed instruments brings a vitality to the bleakness of the persistent, crawling bass and narrative. Wonderfully eerie samples wash in and out to tie the various phrases together, with passages bobbing up and down, underlining the strange pirate aesthetic, groaning ropes and seagulls. It’s not a very warm environment, but then neither, I imagine, was the Jolly Roger. Skin up, tuck in and sail off. Yaar.